Dr. Alan Macniven: The Vikings in Islay. The Place of Names in Hebridean Settlement History
Afdeling for Navneforskning indbyder til foredrag i seminarrækken, tirsdag(!) den 26. april kl. 14.15–16.00 i lokalet Salen(!), 2. sal i bygning 27.
The Inner Hebridean island of Islay is well-known for its whisky, its wildlife and its association with the MacDonald Lords of the Isles. There would seem little reason to dwell on its fate at the hands of marauding Northmen during the Viking Age. Despite a pivotal location on the ‘sea road’ from Norway to Ireland, there are no convincing accounts of the Vikings ever having been there. Theirs is a story which must be read from another type of source material, the silent witness of the local names of places.
Dr Alan Macniven will present his recently published monograph on the subject, The Vikings in Islay. Dr Macniven's approach builds on a systematic review of around 300 of the island’s farm and nature names. His conclusions turn traditional historical assumptions on their head. The ‘romance’ of Islay’s names, it seems, masks a harrowing tale of invasion, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.